Coffee County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud

Kimberly Varden intake photo

Kimberly Varden intake photo

A Coffee County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs which were paid for by the state’s healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrest of Kimberly Varden, 59, of Tullahoma, after a joint investigation with the Tullahoma Police Department.
Varden is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare as payment, and then selling a portion of the pills.
“We are working with municipal and county police across the state, as they zero in on local narcotics trafficking and where we can establish that TennCare was involved,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Local police, providers, and citizens are committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, especially when it involves public dollars.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Craig Northcott is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,324 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”